It was another frustrating night at the Hawthorns for much of the game, but eventually Chelsea pulled through to get three points we needed to clinch the title. The winning goal came not from our 20-goal man Diego Costa, but a rather more unlikely source in back-up striker Michy Batshuayi who scored just his second of the Premier League season.
Batshuayi, now part of Chelsea lore, is the 12th different player to score in a top flight title-clincher for the Blues, joining such legends and heroes as Eric Parsons (177 app’s), Nicolas Anelka (184), Ricardo Carvalho (210), Willian Gallas (225), Eden Hazard (246), Salomon Kalou (254), Joe Cole (282), Peter Sillett (288), Ashley Cole (338), Didier Drogba (381), and Frank Lampard (648). Not bad company at all. In comparison, this was Michy’s 25th appearance, 18 of which, including last night, have been substitute appearances.
Perhaps that is exactly why he “deserved” that goal, as Diego Costa opined to Brazilian media. Whether this will only prove Batshuayi’s Demba Ba-vs-PSG moment, or a springboard for a long and fruitful career remains to be seen.
“We knew that today would be a hard game because [West Bromwich] play too deep, too defensively. They would not give us a lot of space to work. But we stayed concentrated and we came today in knowing that in any opportunity that arises, we had to score. Then Michy [Batshuayi] came in, a player that did not have many chances to play this season, and I think he really deserved scoring that goal.”
From mid-table mediocrity to winning the league with a games to spare, credit should go to everyone of course, not just the goalscorers. All champions speak of the collective efforts of their teammates, but head coach Antonio Conte has truly fostered a family feeling in and around the club.
“I believe we showed during the entire season we were a squad that deserved to win the title. So everyone should be praised. The merit [of winning the title] is for everyone.”
“It was a good party [in the dressing room]. And after everything we went through last season; the criticism, everything that happened, now it is time for us to unite and commemorate because we deserve it. I think we should got out and celebrate the title with our friends, family… This title is special not only for me but for my teammates as well.”
There was one teammate who Costa did want to credit specifically, one who has helped him stay Chelsea’s leading goalscorer ever since they both arrived in the summer of 2014.
“This happens every year! It has been three years that I am here at Chelsea, and I have always been their best goalscorer. However, the priority is not scoring goals but rather winning titles.”
“And Cesc… If he was playing every week, I would be the top goalscorer with ease. He is a great player. In any case, we deserve this. We will celebrate, and that is it!”
-Diego Costa; Source: ESPN Brasil
And the party just don’t stop!